Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sacred Heart

My dad and I recently worked on a sculpture for St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville, SC. They wanted a depiction of the sacred heart of Christ. This is an image that is seen throughout art history.

As always, the first step in creating a sculpture is building an armature. This one was especially difficult. The figure had to be 8ft tall, and because we were going to have to transport the clay to the foundry ourselves, we decided to make an armature that would allow the piece to be taken apart and transported in thirds. There are seams at the shoulders and waist.  A foam silhouette cut-out of the figure was made to size our armature.

The structure is made of wood, steel, and pvc pipe. Wire mesh was used to make a surface to which the clay could adhere. The rest of the hollow form was stuffed with insulation foam. This provides a sturdy shape without adding much additional weight.

The sculpture is starting to take shape.

Here, my dad measures some of the figure's proportions. With him in the picture, it is easy to see how large the piece is.

As previously stated, the figure was built so that it could be separated into thirds. We put the pieces onto my truck and drove to Atlanta. 

The bottom third was loaded onto a forklift and raised to the second floor mold-making area. 

My dad and I spent a few more hours repairing the minor bumps and scratches that occurred during transportation. We also put the three pieces together and smoothed in the seams. 
In this picture, the seam at Christ's waist has been hidden but you can still see a line across his neck.

After several weeks, we went to Atlanta to approve the wax stage of the project.
For more information about the casting process you can refer back to some of my previous posts.

After the sculpture was cast in bronze, it was delivered and installed for 
 St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville.

This is the beautiful base that Christ is mounted on.

The sculpture was unveiled and blessed with the brand new columbarium by Father Newman.

Christ of the Sacred Heart

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